A Boggabri mum says a child care centre should have been established "years ago".
Lucy Bates' comment comes after Boggabri Coal's Idemitsu went to tender this month to build a 397 square-metre centre to cater for ages 0-5.
Ms Bates said lack of childcare was a "massive issue" and until a family day care opened a few months ago, there was no care available.
She runs a business and "juggles" this with child care for her two-year-old son Coen at the new day care in Boggabri and in Gunnedah.
"Prior to that it was a lot of lovely people helping us out looking after Coen," Ms Bates said.
"There are a lot of parents that would want to work but can't for the simple fact that it costs too much to start with, and by the time you drive into Narrabri or Gunnedah, you're just working to keep them in childcare and it's easier to have them at home."
Ms Bates said she "can't believe it has taken this long" for a centre to be established, but when it is up and running, it will "give mums a break and give them the potential to find work if they want to".
"It would make life that little bit easier, especially if you're a family that has moved to the area for work," she said.
"If you don't have family support, you need to rely on child care and if it's not there, it can be quite overwhelming to have no other support.
"I think it's something that should have happened years ago."
- The centre will be built on the corner of Brent and Oakham streets.